What I really wanted to make this week was a recipe for "Italian Love Cake", given to me by a client, from a neighbor, who is famous for her desserts. Unfortunately I got really sick this week and just wasn't up for it. Below is the recipe in case anyone is interested. I still plan on trying out the recipe, just not in time for this challenge.
My husband did something really nice for me though earlier this week - he made a lasagna! :) It was part of my Mother's Day gift, a bit belated since the actual weekend was so busy. And I have no idea what recipe he used. I know the sauce was made from scratch (nice job, hubby!), included green peppers, and he didn't use egg with the ricotta (weird, to me). The lasagna was good, and very much appreciated.
Last week I received a couple of packages from Gigi. Contained within were a multitude or plethora of cookbooks. They were mostly vegetarian. This got me all "hot damn" excited because I almost always have food stuff on hand for vegetarian dishes. I found a recipe involving ricotta. Not 10 minutes later the Saturday Bites email. arrived....ricotta. Perfectly providential! To me this recipe could substitute Nutella in some cases. Far less sugar and healthy-ish. Too simple to make. I did put some on toast along with a sliced banana and called it breakfast. But for the blog it was used as a very light dessert. It works well with both dried and fresh fruit. Fresh fruit suggestions are grapes, pineapple, oranges and kiwi. It went very nicely with banana. Perhaps with a little more cinnamon it might work well with apples. Either way, prepare to be amazed!
Wow! I had no idea you could use Ricotta in so many different recipes from savory to sweet. I was leaning towards a lasagna this week, but Matt offered to make his spaghetti (and he makes the BEST spaghetti!). I don't care to eat pasta two times in one week - you know, watching my figure. ;-) So instead of lasagna, I found these Lemon Ricotta Muffins for breakfast. The ricotta made these muffins light and fluffy and not overly sweet. I drizzled them with a lemon glaze made from powered sugar and lemon juice, so you get some sweet and tart on the crown. You can't see it here, but I also sprinkled them with lemon zest. A magical burst of zing in your mouth!
So this week when I saw Jen's challenge I really wanted to step out and do something different. I normally associate ricotta with lasagna, And there's nothing wrong with that. Heck I like a good lasagna. Just look at the one Jen's husband made.
I was so thrilled when I found this recipe. For a couple of reasons.. First.. Cake.. Second it fulfilled the ricotta challenge, third it's flour-less (always looking for new recipes for my friend who can't have gluten). Fourth.. Well cake
Because it's made with almond meal and not almond flour the cake had a very grainy texture. So if you are looking for a smooth sponge you will be a little disappointed. Once you get past the texture you'll notice it has a terrific flavor. The combo of the almond meal, lemon and ricotta.. Subtle.. Very pleasing to the palette
What do you know! We all had a sweet tooth this week, and Ricotta was the star of the show! By the way- from one wife to others, you never say "No" when the hubs wants to cook. We all deserve a little pampering! See you next week when we all bring a dish to the table from our hometown!
This week was my week. Like every week I tell the husband what our food challenge is to see if there is anything he would like. So when I told him it was my week, as per protocol I asked if there was anything he would like me to make. His suggestion was polenta.
A couple of things about this choice that struck me as odd. The first and most important he was stationed in Italy when he was in the army and he has had legit Italian polenta.
The second is.. He's told me he didn't like Polenta.
But I'm always up for a new challenge. So I made a braised beef ragu and served it over traditional polenta
One of my favorite things about this group is that I learn new things. I had to google polenta. :) I also ended up on a crazy quest in the grocery store trying to find it.
I cheated on this recipe – it says to refrigerate 4 hours before frying, but 1 hour in the freezer works just fine too. They tasted good. I probably won’t make these again, just because the effort wasn’t worth them not being amazing. My husband dunked his in ketchup, and said it tasted like meatloaf.
Polenta! The Italian version of grits. Or are grits the southern version of polenta? Either way, I love both. Easy to prepare and versatile. Polenta can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's used in appetizers and desserts alike. I have a go to polenta recipe but this time I improvised. Though I made this for breakfast it can be served as the center of any meal. A slight tweaking of seasoning and sides you can make something akin to say Southwestern or Italian meals. So this is it:
Funny story: Polenta. It reminds me of grits except it's a bit yellow. I've made wonderful dishes with polenta in the past, but this week was different. I sat down Sunday to plan my meals and found this incredible recipe for a Spiced Moroccan Chickpea Glow Bowl. Yes, a glow bowl. At first thought, I pondered, "Will I glow after eating this bowl of deliciousness?" It's labeled a detox recipe, and I was so excited to try it out. The trouble is it's second main ingredient. I'll let on a little later. I ordered my groceries online (so much easier than dealing with Sunday crowds.) Come Monday, I start to put our meal together. We sit down to eat and it dawns on me, "Dammit, this is coucous!" I know the difference between polenta and couscous; I've cooked both in many delicious recipes, but my distracted mind on Sunday thought couscous was polenta! So enjoy my polenta recipe under the guise of couscous. 😉
In Italy polenta is considered a "poor man's dish". It was one of those dishes that was made at the end of the month when money was running low and payday was around the corner. I can see why because a little goes a long way.
Until next week,
Georgia, Jen, Amy and Nikita
This week, I up'd my game! I usually make a White Chicken Enchilada "Lasagna" when I think of enchiladas. It is the perfect "make-ahead-and leave-it-in-the-fridge-until-ready-to-bake" type of meal. But Matt asked me to try something new with a red sauce, and I'm glad I did! This recipe was so easy and you get to make your own red sauce - no can crap! The ingredients were made from pantry staples, so I ended up make my sauce earlier in the week and storing it in a mason jar in the fridge until I was ready to create my ensemble. These enchiladas have shredded chicken, black beans, and green chilies. I topped each plate with homemade guac. YUM! Have you heard our guac song yet? We'll have to dig that one up soon. The best part is the little present the boys find in the fridge when they get home from a long day. Just bake at 350F for 20 mins.
So in my house the husband makes the enchiladas. This past week was no exception. he made them. I ate them. We also shared the leftovers with family. Win, win, win. Normally he makes his own enchilada sauce. This week however he did not. So sadly this will not be the week you all learn what his secret recipe is. It truly is secret. He doesn't have it written down.
One day.. Yes one day I will pry it out of him.
Until then.. Enjoy the pic of the ones he made the other night
I made a batch of amazing enchiladas last week, almost by accident, because I needed to use up some things in the fridge before they expired: shredded chicken with taco seasoning, partial can of green chili enchilada sauce, and some sour cream. I always have tortillas and cheese on hand, so I just went for it. They turned out SO good. I tried to replicate it this week for you all. It’s close, but I think my ratio of sour cream to green chili sauce was off this time. Try using 3/4 of the sour cream container instead of the whole thing, and I also used light sour cream the first time around. I may have also used “medium” instead of “mild” sauce last time??
I don't brag about my cooking but I will say that my enchiladas are fire. The first time I made them for Tremain he quickly put in requests for Super Bowl Sunday and his birthday. This recipe calls for fresh ingredients. The only part that isn't from scratch are the tortillas. It's time consuming and kind of messy. But the end results oh boy!
The following link is the recipe I go by. I love the enchiladas topped with red onion, cilantro, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh lime juice.
What a great week for enchiladas.. Okay any week is a great week for enchiladas. I'm just thankful when the husband makes dinner and I get a night off from the kitchen.
Until next week when Polenta is on the menu,
Nikita, Georgia, Amy and Jen
It's Spring! Back to wonderful seasonal produce. And Custar Farm was nice enough to post on Facebook that their asparagus was in. I felt duty bound to support a local business.
I'll get straight to the recipe:
Asparagus is a vegetable we eat weekly. This week was a tough one because we just came back from our 35-mile hike on the Supai Reservation to see Havasupai Falls, and we took on a new puppy. I meal plan on Sundays before I grocery shop, and this week consisted of a lot of frozen box dinners that you can conveniently place in the oven to bake paired with a fresh veggie. I was too sore and unfocused to try to make scratch dinners this week. In fact, Christopher was an angel of a helper by cooking our box dinners. This picture shows our baked Chicken Cordon Bleu with a side of Roasted Asparagus. Just drizzle olive oil with salt and pepper, and bake on 400°F for 30 minutes. Find the right balance between crisp tender and crunchy roasted asparagus heads.
Am I the only one who loves this put an egg on top of everything fad? I LOVE it.
Randy and I try to have at least one egg meal a week. I like breakfast for dinner and after cooking most evenings I feel like I need a break.
I saw this and thought. Hmm. This looks like it has potential. And it had asparagus in the recipe. What a crazy coincidence that asparagus was this weeks food challenge. :)
Love the texture and flavor combinations. Very simple and pretty tasty.
Jen and fam are not fans of asparagus.
the beauty of what we do is a person is never obligated to particpate. We have busy lives, some foods we aren't crazy about. Good news!! Next week has a new challenge for us.
Looks like San Joaquin has an Asparagus Festival. Sadly it's it was several weeks ago.. Thankfully there's always next year
Until next week
Amy, Nikita, Georgia and Jen
How to join:
If you'd like to join our Saturday bites club send me an email at email@example.com